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A Shadow in the Light: Knowledge and Remembrance - Part Three


by rabbitofkittyhawk

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Being a prisoner of the Saave was not quite exactly how Sovan had expected. They were taken into the tree's cave soon after, and he soon discovered that the tree was hollow and made into a large room, littered with maps and other pieces of parchment in the back. In the center was a sharp, descending staircase with dangerously steep steps leading underground. Their footsteps' echoes ceased as the Lupe and Gelert were motioned by Daene to follow him down the darkened staircase. Sovan was halfway surprised to watch Dizzconnie step forward, face downcast and drained of hope. He sighed softly and followed, hesitantly stepping onto the first stone ledge. It was slippery with moist earth and he feared of losing his balance, but he set a paw on the ground as he descended to keep his weight stable, stopping once he reached the point that he could no longer reach the ground level. At that point, he released his grip on the dirt edge and held out his arms to prevent himself from stumbling.

      Dizzconnie suddenly felt solid dirt under her paws again, and she glanced to Daene in the dim light. The Krawk took hold of a torch held on the wall, beckoning them in front him. She kept back a sneeze as the dungeon's sour odors reached her nose at last, the foul smell of rotting food hammering against her nostrils the hardest. She looked down the tunnel, noting the fork ahead. There were most likely many of them in the old corridors.

      Daene stopped them with a tug of their chains and clicked a large skeleton key into the lock of a large iron barred door. He swung it open and led them into a rather large cell before hooking their chains to a pair of large metal rings. With a snort and a sneer he reclosed the door and locked it before padding away.

      As the light of the torch faded away, Dizzconnie shuddered. The darkness clung to her like an icy wet blanket, but then a faint glow appeared about a hundred yards off. She was surprised at how wide the room was, for it was only about five feet in length. "Sovan," she whispered, "there's someone in here."

      The Lupe sat down and said, "Then let them be, they're not getting out any quicker than we are." Dizzconnie sat as well, but then she poked him. "What!?"

      "They're moving closer."

      "Now you're seeing things. You can't possibly see anyone down here."

      "I can see their torch," she retorted.

      Sovan glanced to his left, past Dizzconnie, and was startled to see a flame almost seeming to float in the darkness until he saw a face come into view. It was a Mutant Lenny. It stopped about five feet from them, and Sovan felt a flicker of hope kindle inside of him.

      "Who are you?" the Lenny asked curiously, obviously more interested in whom they were than why they were there. "There's no need to fear me, I am here to help you if will allow me to."

      "I'm Dizzconnie," the Gelert said instantly, ignoring the glare Sovan shot at her.

      "Wait, hold on a moment. How did you get down here and why would you want to help us?" Sovan barked, pinning his auds to his skull. This pet seemed too kind for his liking.

      "I have lived here for many years, and I know much about these pets so I am offering to get you away from them. This one cell has many doors, and I venture around this certain gate quite often since Daene had taken a liking to using only it. Oh, by the way, I'm Xiakil." The Lenny gave a short bow, his brown wing sweeping across his front. "You are not the only ones I have found down here you should know." With that two other pets emerged from behind him, one a drooping Faerie Bori, the other a Brown Ixi.

      "Frauns!" Sovan shouted, leaping to his feet to only be restrained by his chains.

      The blacksmith smiled and drew closer to his friend, embracing him. "What are you doing here, Sovan? Dizzconnie?" He suddenly backed away again, a troubled look upon his face. "Surely you didn't leave Ovalon because of me."

      "I am sorry, but we must be leaving soon," Xiakil said suddenly, handing the torch to the Bori. He took ahold of Dizzconnie's cuffs and slipped in a small key, unlocking them. He did the same with Sovan before motioning for them to follow as he strode to the door and unlocked it as well. "These tunnels are quite complicated, but there are several places where they nearly break the earth. Come, one of those areas is quite near."

      Sovan and Dizzconnie fell into step with Frauns, and the Gelert said, "Well, we came partly because of you. Mostly for Manov though... Sovan was going to get help for you, but then he disappeared, so..."

      "He is here, but-"

      "We know," Sovan responded flatly. "Let's not talk about that, shall we?"

      Frauns shook his head. "If you don't want to then we won't."

      "Thanks."

      About thirty minutes later, after taking an array of left turns and occasionally stopping to rest, the Bori pointed out a shaft of light, and Dizzconnie held back a whoop of joy. "We're getting out, Jinni," the Gelert whispered to the other Faerie pet. "It's going to be good to see actual light again."

      Jinni only nodded with a wide grin, still too weak to speak at the moment.

      Xiakil placed the torch in one of the iron holders on the earthen wall and spread his mighty wings and thrust them downward, lifting his large form off the ground and allowing him to clamp his talons on the wall. With his beak he widened the small hole and then lowered back to the ground. "Go on, I'll make sure no one is coming," he said softly, letting them instantly know that the corridor was an area where the Saave were often spotted.

      Sovan and Frauns aided Jinni and Dizzconnie in climbing through the hole, and then Frauns exited next, Sovan following. Then, Xiakil emerged with some difficulty. "Come, let's cover our footprints," he said, ignoring the hole after that. He saw the others staring at the darkness and answered, "The tunnels often cave in, if we don't leave evidence that we were here, they will not know you escaped." The others nodded, but only mingled around, covering footprints and creating new ones. Frankly, they looked quite ridiculous. The Lenny thought a moment. "Wait... climb those trees, I will cover the prints and meet you up there," he said at last.

      The others nodded almost automatically and trudged to a large tree, one by one climbing into its branches.

      Seeing the last of them lift from the ground, Xiakil took a large weed and hovered above the dry earthen section, sweeping away their prints with the plant tightly clamped in his talons. Checking the area, he tossed the plant aside and glided to the tree's highest branches. He gave a long sigh as his talons gripped the branch, feeling relieved to fly after such a long time of being underground.

      "About how long will we be up here?" Frauns called up to the Lenny, not quite feeling comfortable in the tree. He uneasily shifted his weight, constantly avoiding the moment where he would most likely look down and loose his balance as a result.

      Xiakil smiled. "Why you shall travel to where ever you are going by treetop, my friend," he answered, extending a wing to point to the closely packed trees and their large branches. "Or at least you can get a ways from here before climbing down."

      Sovan tilted his head. "You will not come, Xiakil?" He knew he sounded childish, especially since he had only just met the Neopet. "And what about Jinni, does she even know where she is going?"

      "Coursett," Jinni answered at once.

      The Lenny shrugged. "I guess I could, I have no other place to go. The two misses can fly and you should be able to easily leap the branches, so I guess dear Frauns may ride upon my back."

      Frauns look relieved. "Thank you!" he huffed.

      Several moments later, Sovan found himself actually having fun, leaping from branch to branch, using all four of his pillars to quicken his pace. He more then often let out a laugh of pure glee with his series of leaps and ducks, soon finding himself racing the others in the sky.

      Dizzconnie glanced down at Sovan and smirked as she dove into the canopy, landing on one of the branches and taking a cautious leap to another. Then she leapt once more. Quickly gaining confidence, the Gelert was soon whipping past tree trunks, competing with the Lupe in a race of agility.

      But the fun and games soon ended and Xiakil lowered into the forest, closely followed by the others.

      "If I had had the energy to race with you guys, you wouldn't have stood a chance," Jinni said smiling.

      They stopped at a small creek, allowing each other to clean their dirtied faces and paws or claws or hooves. For the next few minutes the group rested, exchanging their output on their former captors and what could possibly be done. Not much was concluded for either the plans were unfairly farfetched or too complicated for them to carry out. It would be decided later, when they had had something to eat. And so, Xiakil and Jinni departed in search for food for the group.

      Frauns was uneasy. "Why did you leave Manov down there? What is going on?" the Ixi asked, clearly confused.

      Sovan sighed and looked to Dizzconnie, who looked away. "It's quite complicated, but it looks like we have the time..."

To be continued...

 
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Other Episodes


» A Shadow in the Light: Knowledge and Remembrance - Part One
» A Shadow in the Light: Knowledge and Remembrance - Part Two
» A Shadow in the Light: Knowledge and Remembrance - Part Four
» A Shadow in the Light: Knowledge and Remembrance - Part Five
» A Shadow in the Light: Knowledge and Remembrance - Part Six
» A Shadow in the Light: Knowledge and Remembrance - Part Seven



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